Jackson Laboratory cancer researcher awarded AACR grant for lung cancer research

Date: April 11, 2012
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Bar Harbor, Maine—Jackson Laboratory Research Scientist Julie Wells, Ph.D., is the 2012 recipient of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Dharma Master Jiantai Innovative Grant for Lung Cancer Research.

Julie Wells, Ph.D.The award was announced at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 in Chicago last week. Each year the organization recognizes an individual investigator whose work holds promise to “contribute to the acceleration of progress against lung cancer, for the ultimate goal of improving patient care.”

The AACR grant provides $10,000, which will supplement the $175,882 grant Wells received in February from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to continue her research project: detecting changes in circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) during lung cancer progression.

Wells explains, “MiRNAs are short molecules of RNA that are important regulators of gene expression during diverse biological processes. Compelling experimental data suggests a role for miRNAs during lung cancer progression.”

The goal of her research, Wells says, is to see whether it’s possible to use miRNAs in blood samples as a predictor of tumor initiation and progression, to monitor responses to chemotherapeutic treatments in animal models, and potentially to screen at-risk human populations for the presence of lung cancer.

Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research with a mission of preventing and curing cancer.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., an institute for genomic medicine planned in Farmington, Conn., and a total staff of about 1,400. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human disease, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community. 


Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058, The Jackson Laboratory

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